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I don’t normally begin the weekly prayer e-mail with a scripture. It’s usually at the end. But I’m beginning with some select verses from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. They are not even in order, but I think you’ll understand after reading the e-mail.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time to laugh … a time to dance … a time to speak … a time to embrace … a time to love … a time to mend … a time to heal.”

It’s raining outside. In fact I can hear the rain falling against the tin roof and it’s therapeutic! So much for everyone’s concerns about heat and humidity. It’s in the high 60s today in the mountains, though everything feels a little damp … and it’s wonderful! Debbie and I are taking a few days back east this summer to see family and renew some old acquaintances. We’re having a blast!

Last weekend, we drove with some friends to Gatlinburg, Tenn. The route took us through Cade’s Cove, part of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, along 12 miles of amazingly scenic rolling hills and pastoral meadows with the mountains as a backdrop. Along the way, there are some old churches dating from the 1800s. A whitewater river hugs the road on the drive from Gatlinburg. People sat along the side of the road, just taking in the scenery and the sounds!

We saw five black bears out in the open during our drive through the national park. The adult bears were in trees eating small black cherries. Two cubs were playing just 10 feet off the narrow road. I got out of the car to take pictures with my cell phone and Debbie panicked, very concerned that where there are cubs, there is usually a momma bear nearby! At one point I walked under a large tree where the adult bear was feeding. I thought “Hey, I live in L.A., so this is nothing.” Debbie was not amused.

I played golf while on vacation and on one occasion was partnered with another golfer who had his name stitched to his golf bag. When I saw that I realized it was going to be a long day … for me. He was a golf instructor at a new Arnold Palmer course some 35 miles away. I told him that it must get very boring to hit the golf ball long and straight every time. I much prefer the “don’t know where it’s going” game. Needless to say, my golfing is filled with variety.

Debbie and I have walked and talked and dreamed! We slept in. And we watched the Olympics till the wee hours of the morning. We are pressing in on 35 years of marriage and these days are the best ever! We’ve learned the importance of making mistakes, saying I’m sorry, hugging, having tense but transparent conversations, expressing disappointments, holding hands, praying together and generally being willing and free to share whatever is on your heart!

Take some advice:

  • Do something unplanned with the love of your life…
  • Laugh till you cry…
  • Lay down, for just a moment, some of those important responsibilities…
  • Renew your passions for God and life…
  • Dream about things yet to come…

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.